As with all French people, the feeling which prevails within me following Davis Cup final defeat at the weekend is disappointment.
Reaching the final of such a big event then watching the trophy snatched away is tough to accept. And even tougher, I guess, for the players and staff who saw this campaign through together.
But all the matches they have won this season in order to get there should not be forgotten. As the team said, the result is encouraging: the players are young and there are plenty of reasons to believe they can get there again - and this time to emerge as winners.
Losing matches like that also helps in the gaining of experience. We have to accept it, learn from it and use it to go further next time. In France we can count on an amazing generation of players. Who else in the world can bring together a team featuring guys like Gael Monfils, Richard Gasquet, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gilles Simon?
They have reached the top 10 and are still young - four gifted players who can still improve. So, if the team can keep a good spirit, and if the players continue to feature in the competition and give everything each time, then the Davis Cup will be ours one day.
Now, what to take from the weekend... were the Serbians just too strong? Yes - they've been amazing. But it's impossible to explain this loss with only that reason.
The French played with the handbrake on, which is difficult to understand: the whole team played too safe. In a final, you'd have thought that being so close to the goal would be the perfect time to let everything go. After so much effort and with so many matches played under the pressure of being favourites, the final is where you should give everything in order to achieve your dreams.
Unfortunately, it was not with this state of mind that the French players entered the court. On Friday, Gilles was never able to play freely against Novak Djokovic, who had a great match. He could not take advantage of his momentum at 5-5 when the Serbian started to struggle with nerves. He looked so shy: I didn't see the usual fighter within him.
Gael won his first match against a Janko Tipsarevic totally taken over by the pressure; the Frenchman did not have the greatest game. He was playing short, with no real gameplan and wasn't moving as well as he is used to.
On Saturday in the doubles, Michael Llodra and Arnaud Clement started the match trussed up with tightness - and therefore lost the first two sets. Without a wake-up call from Clement, it would have been all over.
Sunday was like the two previous days: Gael and Mika were never able to play their best tennis. Even if both Serbians played great, they didn't face a lot of opposition. Gael, who usually brings back so many unreachable balls, was rather clumsy and committed way too many unforced errors. Mika, if he felt Viktor Troicki was returning so well, was not able to find his usual shot zones; his volleying game wasn't crushing enough; and his legs weren't able to handle the pressure of the game. He wasn't the shining Mika we saw in Bercy. On Sunday, when his volleying was so-so, he was also anticipating the passing shot way too early and leaving easy shots for his opponent.
It seems overall that, instead of being inspired by the event, the French players were muffled, speechless, unable to break free of the pressure.
Was it also down to the Serbian crowd? I don't know. The only positive thing is that this failure is a collective one - so not a single player will have to carry the burden on his back alone.
The Serbians came to 'kick our asses' and played with total freedom. Tipsarevic excepted, they weren't afraid of disappointing the huge expectations of the crowd. They come into the battle convinced that they would win, with rage lying inside of their stomach, ready to break through every obstacle in their way.
Djoko was the most impressive of all of them. When he trashed his racquet after getting broken, he sent out a strong message: "It's out of the question to even lose a single set."
I've found the Serbians very impressive charisma- and power-wise, whereas we looked like frail sheep. As Guy Forget stated, there was not a single moment on Sunday when we dared hope to win. We didn't even believe it when we were 2-1 up after Saturday.
So let us congratulate the Serbians, who taught us a huge lesson in ambition and self belief. As far as France is concerned, I'm sure we'll regroup and come back stronger next season. There's no way we won't learn from such a tennis lesson - and with our young guys still full of passion for the Davis Cup, people should keep an eye on France in the years to come.